The Island Council (Cabildo) of Gran Canaria and Indra, one of the world’s main consulting and technology companies, launched today the challenge Ventures4GranCanaria to boost technological entrepreneurship and the creation of startups associated with smart technology in areas that are strategic for the island: tourism, energy, the environment, marine and coastal, industry 4.0, smart cities, mobility, cibersecurity, social and citizen participation.
Ventures4GranCanaria is an initiative promoted by the Cabildo, through the Corporation for the Economic Development of Gran Canaria (SPEGC), and Indra, in collaboration with the Town Council of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (ULPGC), CaixaBank and Satocan.
This is a call open to the entire national and even international innovative ecosystem, from entrepreneurs or students to universities, spinoffs and technological centres, among others, to present technology-based business initiatives at various stages of maturity, including those at the seed phase.
During his presentation, the president of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Antonio Morales, highlighted the importance of working with Indra given its potential, with over 40,000 employees and operations in 140 countries. Morales emphasised, therefore, that Ventures4GranCanaria is an incredibly attractive opportunity for entrepreneurs, as it makes financial support available for the winning proposals – no less than 10,000 Euros for the winner, as well as a further 3 prizes – and an incubation and acceleration stage for the 10 finalists of up to 6 months duration.
The manager of Indraventures, David Pascual, explained that as well as applying to the reality of Gran Canaria, the use of innovative technology and its disruptive focus, it would be desirable that the proposals have a clear business potential, viability to develop within a period of one to two years, and the ability to grow and internationalise (scalability).
As far as initiatives are concerned, the managing director of the SPEGC, Raúl García Brink, explained that there is an essential requirement that they be aligned with smart technology and special attention will be paid to those related to the development priorities identified in the Canary Islands Smart Specialisation Strategy (RIS3), which sets out preferred areas of investment in RD&I on the island until 2020.
Financial support and technological, financial and industrial acceleration
Persons or organisations interested in participating in Ventures4GranCanaria may submit their proposals until 1st September 2017 through Indra’s platform iParticipa hosted in www.indraventures4grancanaria.com. Participants who have submitted at least one proposal will be able to make comments and vote on the initiatives on this platform.
Representatives of Indraventures, Indra’s vehicle to reinforce the relationship with the entrepreneurial ecosystem and fund initiatives, and from the SPEGC, will select the 10 finalists. A jury formed by members from all the collaborating organisations will subsequently select the 3 winning initiatives, to which a fourth will be added, the initiative with the highest number of votes from the participants, which will receive the Community Prize.
The Community Prize winner will receive 3,000 Euros, with 4,000 Euros for the idea placed third. The prize for the runner-up will be 5,000 Euros, while the initiative chosen as winner by the jury will be rewarded with double that amount, 10,000 Euros. The four ideas will be presented to Indra’s Innovation Committee to analyse and identify possible collaborations and synergies for them to be developed.
In addition, the 10 final proposals and the one with the highest number of votes from the participants will have access to an initial advice and support package for their incubation and acceleration for a period of 6 months, offered by the SPEGC, Indra and the collaborating organisations. This support will be defined in accordance with the particular needs of each initiative, and will always include technological acceleration from Indra, financial acceleration from CaixaBank and industrial acceleration from Satocan for the proposals and new tourism businesses.
Innovation as the engine for development
With Ventures4GranCanaria, the Cabildo contributes to promoting entrepreneurship and the development of new businesses in areas that are strategic for the development of the island, but also to placing it as a centre of attraction of innovative and entrepreneurial talent that wants to meet its challenges. The objective is for the wining startups to be associated with Gran Canaria and develop on the island.
The challenge progresses, as well, along the lines of the initiative referred to as Gran Canaria Smart Island from the Cabildo, in which various island departments coordinated by the SPEGC participated, and which consists of providing the island with telecommunications infrastructures, sensorisation and analysis to obtain data and turn them into knowledge, to identify what the island and its citizens and visitors need, whether detecting forest fires or water leaks.
With regard to Indra, Ventures4GranCanaria is the first external call that the company launches through Indraventure within the framework of an innovation model that seeks to strategically accelerate and extend the ability to generate and gather ideas that are potentially attractive for Indra’s future offer.
The company has fostered this first initiative in Gran Canaria because its strategic interests in innovation coincide and are aligned with the priorities of the Canary Islands Smart Specialisation Strategy (RIS3). Therefore, the objective is to identify and boost innovative initiatives in the smart technology field, that may be of interest for the business and promote their presence on the island.
The website to submit your projects is www.indraventures4grancanaria.com.
Submission of the initiative. Download here.